Paul Adair is a 21-year Germantown resident, retired scientist, writer, and lecturer.
2012 was an exciting year in politics. We elected a President and US Senator, conducted state recall elections, and saw a great deal of activity in the legislative and judicial arenas. As a year-end retrospective, the staff at Just Sayin' has determined the Top 26 political winners and losers of 2012.
Winner- Barack Obama for being elected to a second term.
Losers- David and Charles Koch, after pledging $60 million dollars to defeat Barack Obama.
Winner- Nate Silver for correctly predicting the results of the presidential election and almost every US Senate race (well, he blew the North Dakota Senate race).
Loser- Dean Chambers whose website attempted to “unskew” mainstream political polling, and predicted a Romney/Ryan win. Also losers-the people who bought-in to his nonsense.
Winners- The American people when Obamacare was declared constitutional by the US Supreme Court.
Losers- Voters of Wisconsin, when a mockery was made of their votes through gross partisan redistricting. More state citizens voted for Democrats for State Assembly than Republicans, yet the Republicans still hold a 60-39 lead in the body. Despite Democrats winning 50.8 % of Wisconsin Congressional votes, we have 5 Republican Congressmen and 3 Democratic ones.
Winner- Ron Johnson for his success in blocking action on so many proposed Senate bills, including the Disclose Act which would require SuperPacs to disclose donors, the Bring Jobs Home Act which would give tax breaks for repatriating manufacturing jobs, and the Buffet rule which would set a minimum tax on those making over $1 million/year.
Losers- The people of Michigan and Indiana, where Tea Party legislatures enacted so-called “Right to Work” laws.
Winner- Chris Christie for showing what a Governor can do when they actually remain in the state that elected them. For showing that politicians can work with the other side on common problems.
Losers- The taxpayers of Wisconsin for the state WEDC somehow losing track of $56 million dollars of our money.
Winners- The people of Wisconsin when some of the worst of the state leadership's right-wing agenda, Act 10 and the Voter ID laws, were found to be in violation of the state constitution.
Winner- Scott Walker for winning the recall election, with tens of millions of out-of-state money.
Winners- 15 out-of-state billionaires for wholesale re-purchase of the entire state of Wisconsin during the gubernatorial recall election.
Losers- The National Rifle Association for the bizarre and rambling speech by rabid zombie spokesperson Wayne LaPierre following the Connecticut school shooting tragedy.
Winner- Tommy Thompson for showing that he's “still got it”, by defeating a field of three other candidates in the Wisconsin Senate Republican Primary.
Losers- Steven and Nancy Einhorn, for being outed as the “anonymous” sponsors of 85 voter intimidation billboards in Milwaukee.
Winner- Steven Einhorn for winning a contract to manage one million dollars of Wisconsin taxpayer money after he and his wife donated over $47,000 dollars to Scott Walker's campaigns in 2010 and 2012.
Loser- John Boehner for being House Speaker of one of the least productive Congresses in history. He put-off critical issues such as the fiscal cliff, the farm bill, the AMT, and the debt limit. However he found time to attempt to repeal Obamacare 33 times and to defund Planned Parenthood innumerable times.
Loser- Gladys “If you have any questions, call the Republican Party” Huber, for becoming a fraudulent candidate in the Democratic recall primary for Governor.
Loser-The American Chemistry Council, an industry group calling for lax pollution laws, who funneled $658,000 of money into attack ads in a futile attempt to defeat Tammy Baldwin.
Winner- Herb Kohl, for retiring from the US Senate on his own terms, after 24 years of service to our state.
Losers- The students of Germantown. Experienced teachers retired in droves while the School Board micromanaged the summer band program and had a conniption over sex education classes.
Winner- Mitt Romney for retiring from politics with more wealth than all residents of Germantown combined.
Losers- True the Vote, Mark Belling, and the MacIver (so-called) Institute for ginning-up the asinine witch hunt targeting citizens who signed constitutionally legal recall petitions.
Winner- Joe “Malarkey” Biden for his over-the-top performance during the VP Debate.
Loser- Professional bloviator Rush Limbaugh for losing over 140 sponsors after his ignorant comments besmirching law student Sandra Fluke.
Well, that is our list for the year. Congratulations to the winners. I am sure that each of our readers has their own additions (or subtractions) to our list. We can only hope that politics in 2013 will be as interesting as the past year has been.